[Editor’s Note: On May 17th, voters will choose from three candidates running for two open Board of Education seats in the Tarrytowns Union Free School District (TUFSD). River Journal invited the candidates to submit statements on why they are running. See what they had to say below. River Journal does not, as a matter of policy, endorse any candidates.]
Amanda Wallwin: I’ve dedicated my career to bridging gaps between government bodies and the communities they’re built to serve. For over a decade, I’ve been a Chief of Staff in the New York State Assembly. In this role, an important part of my job has been working with a variety of community groups to transform their advice into actual policy. To accomplish this, I’ve used a number of tools, including in-person and virtual town halls, mobile office hours, newsletters, and social media. After ten years, I know as well as anyone how difficult it can be to navigate government, and I’ve made it my mission to shed light on bureaucracy whenever possible.
In addition to my practical experience, I also have a master’s degree in public policy, focusing on education policy. In grad school, I learned the history of education policy, studied how the different levels of government interact with each other in the education space and analyzed policy proposals to create equitable and effective education systems. Ultimately, I’m running for TUFSD school board because I have the skills and the experience to close the gap between the board and the community and to ensure that every voice is heard
Ida Michael: My name is Ida Michael. I am a resident of the Tarrytowns, a Spanish-speaking first-generation American and the parent of two children in the Tarrytown schools. I am running for the Board of Education to promote a positive school culture. I want to ensure that all our children feel safe and confident in showing up as their authentic selves. I want them to feel they can advocate for themselves and know that their voices will be heard and taken seriously. I would like to encourage those students who are already engaged to continue speaking up. While we are learning to live with COVID-19, it’s important to remember that many of our children are still suffering from pandemic disruptions and trauma. I will promote increased participation in the Arts and other activities that help students make connections between experiences and emotions in order to build resilience and promote a caring community that students can count on in times of need.
John Sutherland: I have lived in Tarrytown for over thirty years and have been blessed to have three of my children graduate from the Tarrytown School system and move on to be successful young adults. During the last 25 years, I have volunteered for numerous sports programs for the youth of our community, such as AYSO and SHFC Soccer, TNT Baseball, Softball and Basketball. My goal in being part of these programs has been to ensure a place for all community members to play in a recreational and competitive sports program.
In my day profession, I have worked as a Real Estate Manager working with large management teams, unions, developers and finance persons to assure maximum potential for all assets. I am currently working for Cushman & Wakefield, overseeing the NYP Housing Program on the upper Eastside.
If elected, I hope to continue with my efforts to work with the Board on its continued growth in all areas. I would like to continue to focus on utilizing my expertise in Real Estate to help with the possible expansion of schools combined with my love of sports to continue to assure that all students have a chance to be the best they can be.
Per the BOE, voting will take place on May 17 from 7am-9:00 p.m. Tarrytown voters will cast ballots at Washington Irving School (S. Broadway, Tarrytown), and Sleepy Hollow residents at W.L. Morse School (Pocantico Street, Sleepy Hollow).